Sunday, September 20, 2020

Alleged fraud of 14 million: the defendant sold land without extension to a former legislator: witness tells the court

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A witness for the prosecution, SP Sini John, told a High Court of FCT, Kubwa, on Wednesday that an engineer, Victoria Adelana, swindled a former member of the Federal House of Representatives, Chinenye Ike, out of N14 million on a piece of land non-existent.

John, who is on secondment with the EFCC, made the accusation when it was presented as evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Olanrewaju Adeola.

It said the plaintiff, Ike, submitted a written request to the EFCC sometime in February 2013.

“My team arrested the defendant on February 21.

”My team and I questioned her and showed her the written petition against her, which she read, responded to in writing, and signed a statement sheet from the EFCC.

“Further investigations led us to arrest other suspects, Adewole Olugbenga, Patrick Ojo and Ezechi Benedeth, who were charged with the accused,” he said.

John said further investigations revealed that the defendant and the other defendants obtained N24.4 million under the pretext of selling a nonexistent parcel of land.

It said that the parcel numbers contained in the offer letters given to the complainant for two parcels in Kugbo did not exist, as verified by the Abuja Area Municipal Council (AMAC).

We also wrote letters to the Cooperative Affairs Commission (CAC) to verify the receipts issued to the complainant and they replied that New Life Engineering is not listed in the CAC records.

When confronted by Adelana, she said that the company was a subsidiary of New Life Camp Estate Property Limited, which another response from C.A.C revealed was not true.

“We also wrote to the plaintiff’s bank, Eco Bank, for an analysis of his statement and it showed that money was sent to Adelana,” John said.

He added that Adelana admitted to receiving 7 million naira twice from the plaintiff for two parcels in Kugbo, Abuja, and confessed that she bought it at 2.5 million naira each and kept 9 million naira for herself.

He said Adelana took her team to Olugbenga, who said she obtained the parcels from Ojo and sold them to Adelana for N1.8 million.

This led to the arrest of Ojo, who revealed that he obtains documents from Benedeth, who is a road safety officer attached to AMAC.

“Adelana admitted everything and said that she needed time to pay the plaintiff back, but that she had only returned 1 million naira since 2013,” he said.

It revealed that Adelana had jumped bail three times, including her previous appearance in FCT Superior Court, Jabi, and being arrested again had been difficult.

The prosecutor presented the letters and responses of Eco Bank, CAC and statements of the defendants as attachments to the court, which were admitted.

The defense attorney, Damilola Kolade, asked the witness if he was aware that said land was being litigated in another court.

Kolade also asked if the witness knew that the other defendants in the N14 million land matter had been released by the court.

The witness, however, said he was not aware.

Judge Kezziah Ogbonnaya adjourned the matter until November 11 for the defendant to open her case.

The EFCC charged Adelana and the three other defendants with 24 counts bordering on forgery and conspiracy.

On February 4, the court held that the other defendants had no case to answer because the plaintiff and another witness, Frank Kamalu, testified that they did not know them.

However, they were discharged on that date.

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